Brad Paisley‘s wife Kimberly — who is a bona fide actress in her own right — is sharing her experience with her mother’s dementia. Her story is chronicled in the book Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again, comes out April 5.
Kimberly started to worry about her mother, Linda Williams, when she became engaged to Brad in 2002. She tells People that her mother started having difficulty pronouncing words and signing her name. She even asked if Starbucks served nachos.
During Christmas 2005, her father, journalist Gurney Williams, told his children that Linda was suffering from primary progressive aphasia, a rare and incurable form of dementia.
“I thought, this really doesn’t make sense,” she says. “No one in our family has ever gotten any kind of dementia. My parents are very smart. Sharp, funny, witty.”
As her mother’s disease progressed, Kimberly and her family had to make the difficult decision to place her mother in a long-term care facility, which they did in 2012.
“That was the hardest day of all of our lives,” she says. “It was just brutal and it probably always will be. Just the feeling of inevitability and also betrayal, like we were abandoning her, and that part of her still understood what was happening. That was so painful.
As for her husband, Kimberly is grateful for his support. “He’s just seen me at my worst and handled it so well,” she says. “He’s just a team player and helps in the ways he can help.”